National Stadium, aka Bird's Nest
photo by Edwin Lee

Bird's Nest - Beijing National Stadium

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The stadium was built for the 2008 Summer Olympics and Paralympics. It was designed by architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron from Herzog & de Meuron, project architect Stefan Marbach, artist Ai Weiwei and Li Xinggang. Architects from all over the world are allured to China because of the endless possibilities and the people's openness to adventurous projects. According to a 2004 report in Architectural Record, China uses up 54.7% of the concrete and 36.1% of the steel produced in the world.

In order to create something unique, the architects have studied Chinese ceramics and came up with the idea of the nest. Two independent structures, a red concrete seating area, shaped as a bowl and the outer steel frame form this extravagant structure. The original plans also included a retractable roof, but the idea was dropped after a collapse of a roof at the Charles de Gaulle International Airport.

Called "The Bird's Nest" because of its appearance, this is also a compliment, Li Xinggang says: "In China, a bird's nest is very expensive, something you eat on special occasions."

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The photos displayed on this page are the property of one of the following authors:

Edwin Lee, Curt Smith, Francisco Diez, Dmitry P, sHzaam!, Bernt Rostad, Kathy Zhuang, poeloq

Some photos courtesy of: . The photos provided by Flickr are under the copyright of their owners.

This travel guide also includes text from Wikitravel articles, all available at WikitravelView full credits

This travel guide also includes text from Wikipedia articles, all available at WikipediaView full credits

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